Good Boy! Clever Boy!

Never mind “Mach Mal Lauter!”  Get a load of this from Masham Sheep Fair 2009.  This sheep dog is a very clever dog.  Not sure why the birds didn’t just try to fly away…

Have a sheepish day, won’t you!

The Monkey-Hangers

(Why do I sometimes feel like I am reading out Alistair Cooke’s Letter from America?  Instead you get Blog from Germany.)

Just over a decade a go I worked as a supply teacher, usually in rough comprehensives on Teesside, including Hartlepool, home of the monkey-hangers.  (In a battle against the French, the locals thought a monkey on board a French warship was a Frenchman.  They hanged the poor animal when he “refused to talk.”)

Most of the classes were rough rough rough rough rough.  The headteacher at one Hartlepool comprehensive give me a useful tip.

If the kids get too rowdy, just ask them about Lawrence, the transvestite Hartlepool football fan.

I did.  That worked.  I’d get non-stop anecdotes about Lawrence and his:

  • Drink problem
  • New dress
  • Season ticket problems
  • Tendency to re-apply make-up on during the last five minutes of every game

Ever since working at that school, I have got into Hartlepool, following the club and its trials and tribulations.  Now, after the club nearly went bankrupt last season, they seem to be on the up.  Undefeated so far in the National League, the fifth tier of English football.

Howay the lads!

Have a hearty day, won’t you!




In the history of pop music, there have been several songs about cycling, eg:

  • I Like to Ride My Bicycle, by Queen
  • Tour de France, by Kraftwerk
  • Probably a few others, whose titles escape me

However, my favourite is this one, which came to me yesterday while I was cycling along the Rhine to Kaiserswerth in order to buy a pouch of cat food at the REWE supermarket.  The cat shall not starve.  This song shall be my earworm du jour today.

Have a cyclical day, won’t you!

Scouse Joke du Jour

For a bit of context, here’s the Urban Dictionary definition of a Scouse/Scouser.  I’ve no idea what your local equivalent of a Scouser would be.  (Feel free to enlighten me.)

Over the years the British have had various targets of jokes:

  • The Irish
  • Essex girls
  • Scousers

To give a bit of context, here are some typical Scouser jokes, often told by Scousers themselves.

What do you call a scouser in a suit?   The accused.

What should you do if you see a scouse jogging?  Trip him up and give the lady’s purse back to her.

How do you make a scouser run faster?  Stick a video player under his arm

Q.What’s the difference between Batman and a Scouser?  Batman can go anywhere without Robin.

Why does the River Mersey run through Liverpool?  Because if it walked it would be mugged.

What do you call a Scouser in a bungalow?  A burglar.

So…  Fast-forward to the weekend just gone.  I see this article in an online newspaper.

The headline that came straight to my mind was:

Disgusting creature found in Liverpool flat.  Rat phones council to complain.


Have a ratty day, won’t you!

It’s a dog’s life

It’s beyond me why people say:

It’s a dog’s life.

Most of the pet dogs I see are spoilt rotten and pampered by their owners and everyone who sees the dog, wanting to stroke it, cuddle it, tickle it, etc, etc.

Let me introduce you to Titch, born August 1983, “crossed Rainbow Bridge” August 1997.  Here he is, aged 8 or 9.


Mother: Jack Russell, Father: German shepherd.


  • Much more Jack Russell than German Shepherd.
  • Very affectionate, especially if you had sweets, or indeed any food on you.
  • Very sweet-toothed: even if you were talking about buying a three-piece suite, he would come running to you from wherever he was, in the hope of having a chomp of a boiled sweet or jelly baby.
  • He would often come up to you, place his chin on your lap, paw at you and beg for a good fuss.
  • Very playful, always after a belly rub, tummy tickle or stroke, or even the mention of those words.
  • He loved being tickled under his “armpits.”  Stop suddenly, and you’d get a growl of reproval from the dog.
  • He loved play-fighting.  The rougher the better, especially wrestling on the sand of Redcar beach.
  • He loved being bounced up and down on your knee.
  • He loved his walk in the local hills, especially chasing after the pheasants hiding in the ferns.  “Come on, chaps, I only want to play with you, not eat you.”


Titch caught parvovirus at the end of August 1997.  Till then, he had been fit and healthy all his life.  Within a day he was crossing Rainbow Bridge.

The sad thing is, I cried more on the day he went than the day Sunray passed away.  I guess it’s all to do with untimely death.  Sunray had had enough.  He was fed-up.  Titch was still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, would jump out of his basket every morning, wanting to go for a walk and a wee-wee.

Have a canine day, won’t you!